A new year means a fresh look at the world and a fresh palate. We’ve found some food trends in store for 2009, so if you want to get a head start for the holidays, here’s some suggestions to start the year off right:
Comfort foods. Be prepared to dust off your meatloaf and macaroni-and-cheese recipes, as people are preparing to hunker down and ride out the depressing Dow. But to avoid palate fatigue, some of the old favorites will be reintroduced with Asian twists: Pad Thai will replace spaghetti, and chicken soup will be upgraded to Vietnamese Pho.
Dining in. In-home dinner parties, underground dining, private supper clubs or whatever you want to call them, have blossomed. These alternatives are replacing last year’s excessive opulence, because wanton indulgence has become this year’s bad manners. We’re not suggesting that all partying must cease; people are of course still going to restaurants, but the pendulum is swinging more towards entertaining at home. However, beware of the antiquated notion of a dinner party or themed parties – that’s just old-fashioned. Stick to styles and trends – for example, make your next dinner party menu bite-sized and you’ll be on the cutting edge. 2009 will see an upsurge in sharable menus, small plate offerings, which offer a taste of everything.